Skip to comments.New law ups age for child restraints
Posted on 06/16/2005 10:28:10 AM PDT by Disambiguator
Your children are cute, but if they're not buckled in correctly, they're going to cost you a ticket.
Albuquerque police and law enforcement officers around the state say parents of children ages 5 and up are going to be scrutinized more than ever when a new law on child safety seats goes into effect Friday.
The current law requires safety restraints for children through age 4 or less than 40 pounds. The new law says children ages 5 or 6 or less than 60 pounds must be protected.
Children 7 through 12 also require safety restraints - either a child safety seat if they weigh less than 60 pounds or seat belts.
All seats must meet federal standards.
"A properly secured seat belt fits over thighs, not the abdomen, with knees bent over the seat edge," said Jeannie Chavez, spokeswoman for AAA New Mexico. "A seat belt should go over heaviest part of the bone structure, the shoulder bone, chest bone and over the hip portion of the upper thighs."
The law was proposed by AAA New Mexico and Safer New Mexico Now and passed during the 2005 legislative session.
"Nine out of 10 car seats are installed incorrectly," said Lisa Kelloff, president of Safer New Mexico Now.
Safer New Mexico Now opened five fitting stations statewide last year and is looking to add three this year, she said.
Each station provides proper installation of child safety seats by trained technicians and information on proper use, she said.
"Stations are at permanent locations on a specific day of the month every month at a specific time," Kelloff said. "People should come in with the car and seat, and the child as well."
Fittings at the stations are by appointment only.
The organization also has car seat distribution programs for low-income families in 30 locations around the state.
Albuquerque police spokeswoman Sgt. Beth Paiz said officers will begin enforcing the new law right away.
"There will be no grace period," she said.
Children who move around the back seat, whose heads pop up or who lean over to get something from the front seat are easy to spot, Paiz said. That would constitute probable cause for a traffic stop.
If the child is not in a safety restraint, the driver will be cited, she said.
The fine is $84, Kelloff said, and two points against the driver's license.
However, judges have the discretion to require the offender to take part in a violator education program by Safer New Mexico Now. That would waive the two points, Kelloff said.
For NM Freepers and anyone driving through the state of New Mexico, this new law takes effect on 6/17/05.
My 4 year-old is already having trouble finding room for her feet in her car seat. This just seems like get more $$$$ legislation disguised as It's for the Children law.
Especially the Republicans, with their "limited government" lies. At least the 'Rats are upfront about their Big Stupid Government intentions.
These laws are for irresponsible idiots. The vast majority of parents would buckle their kids up, with or without a law.
I don't know how previous generations survived without nanny laws dictating safety gear for kids in cars..Does any evidence show that children are safer today with overprotective seatbelts than before???
The irresponsible idiots will continue to let their kids climb around the car like monkeys, and drive with babies on their laps. I see them on the road regularly.
One person's "irresponsibility" is another person's freedom.
Lots of people consider gun ownership to be irresponsible.
My child likes to ride out on the front of the car and pretend she's a hood ornament. Who's the government to tell she can't!
However, if you are in an accident and a child is injured because of you, it seems like the law could protect you if the parents were not following the law.
Without the law, it seems like the injured child's parents could sue you even more.
The good news is, those genes will be removed from the gene pool.
Darwin loves you.
"People should come in with the car and seat, and the child as well."
Is Ms. Kelloff telling 90% of parents to endanger their children?
These laws are horrible for small kids.
Can you imagine the grief a twelve year old would get if he had to have a CAR SEAT??
My son is almost twelve and just hit 70 pounds, but his feet more than hit the floor.
*******NITPICKER AND POLITICALLY CORRECT POST ALERT
Thanks. It's always nice to be appreciated.
12 and only 70 pounds? Give that boy a Big Mac.
Children don't have adult freedoms. They don't have 2nd amendment rights as you and I do. Driving or riding in a car is not a freedom or a right. It can be taken away for a number of reasons. Using your logic, DUI laws shoud be removed because it takes away your freedom to be irresposible? You are free not to wear the seatbelt, but you will be fined if you don't.